History of Cedar Park Christian Schools
The history of Cedar Park Christian Schools and Assembly of God describes a heritage of growth and vision. Pastor George Johnson started Cedar Park Assembly in 1970, renting the facilities of Peter Kirk Elementary School in Kirkland, Washington. In 1975, the church bought five acres on Juanita-Woodinville Road and built a 13,000 square foot building including a sanctuary seating 300 with additional educational space.
In 1979, Pastor Joe Fuiten replaced Pastor Johnson, and his vision has served as a guidepost for those attending the church over the last several decades. The vision of influencing the Puget Sound region with the gospel of Christ through a variety of ministries, including Cedar Park Christian Schools, has served as a beacon for many in the congregation and has attracted those of like thinking. Pastor Jay Smith now leads the congregation, following Pastor Fuiten’s retirement.
Cedar Park Christian School was founded By Pastor Fuiten in 1982 with eight preschool students. The school has grown consistently, adding preschool and childcare, elementary, middle school, and high school grades, with the first graduating class in 1997.
In 1983, Cedar Park Assembly of God purchased eleven acres of land near the I-405 interchange of NE 160th in Bothell, Washington. Soon, a 45,000 square foot facility was constructed which seats 1,200 people with additional educational space for the Christian school.
Since the original construction of the main church structure, which houses a portion of the preschool and elementary offices, a large land donation provided the church with 19 acres directly south of the present location, which was used for development of the new high school and a future retirement facility. Several years later, another 19 acres was acquired to the north of the original site for the purpose of further educational expansion. A number of additional buildings have been constructed on the property including an eight classroom elementary building, and a twelve classroom elementary building, in additional to several other facilities totaling thirty-eight classrooms and 45,000 square feet.
The original vision for the school was to construct a single new high school that would be supported by the elementary school on the same campus. Until the 1994 school year, Cedar Park Christian School was comprised of a single campus of approximately 300 students in its church facility, with two additional portable buildings.
In 1996, the permit process to build a high school facility was initiated with the City of the Bothell with the anticipation that construction would begin within a year or two. Bureaucratic delays and problems postponed securing a final construction permit for more than six years. Construction began on the high school in the fall of 2002 and the high school was completed in the 2004 school year.
The delay in the high school created a situation which necessitated rethinking Cedar Park’s original vision of a single campus. The facility needs on the Bothell campus continued to explode and it became apparent it could not meet the demand of students seeking admission. Thus emerged the vision for a multi-campus school district - the product of necessity meeting opportunity.
The original plan was to raise the student population to 450 students on the single campus. The rationale for establishing this goal was in part due to current educational studies which consistently reveal the most effective, efficient, and productive schools are those of between 350 and 450 students. Studies also reveal that teachers and administrators establish closer relationships with students and parents. The resulting effect is a more personal atmosphere which enables teachers to better motivate, inspire, mentor, and hold students and parents personally accountable. This personalized atmosphere is considered the most productive learning environment. In terms of educational organizational structures, schools that size also enable administration optimum management and communicative systems. At the time, the goal appeared very ambitious.
In 1995, the student population at Cedar Park Christian began to increase so significantly that it was apparent the Bothell Campus could not handle the numbers before a facility could be constructed. This sudden increase caused Cedar Park leadership to reconsider how they could continue to increase numbers while keeping within the allotted 450 optimum number established earlier. The result was a reevaluation and restructuring of the original model. This gave birth to the idea of breaking the school into elementary, middle school, and high school departments and treating each level as an independent school, thus allowing the elementary, the middle school, and the high school to each increase to 350 to 450 students. This organizational plan allowed the campus to steadily expand in facility and in students. The Bothell campus began building additional facilities and now has a dedicated elementary school, middle school facilities, as well as a new high school building.
Meanwhile this new concept caused another reevaluation of the system in 1999 and revealed that Cedar Park Christian School could reproduce beyond the immediate Bothell campus and develop multiple campuses at other locations utilizing the same organizational principles. Additional campuses should be able to accomplish the task by utilizing common resources and leadership, thus less overhead. Under this type of scenario, Cedar Park Christian could continue expanding while this window of opportunity lasted.
A unified and focused philosophy is enhanced by the leadership style that is operative at Cedar Park Christian School and the larger ministry of the church. The organizational model uses one central School Board, one Superintendent, and a consolidation of specialists that enable lower overhead at other campuses. All campuses utilize a common curriculum guide and scope and sequence, as well as discipline and administrative policies.
Over the years, Cedar Park Christian Schools have expanded as other Christian Schools joined the CPCS system, resulting in a school district with campuses in Bellevue, Lynnwood, Mill Creek, and Mountlake Terrace, along with the main campus in Bothell. Our Independent Study Program provides additional support and resources for our students desiring homeschool programs.
At Cedar Park Christian Schools, we believe that the basis of all teaching is God and His Word. Our desire is that each student would accept Jesus Christ as his personal Lord and Savior, and to partner with parents to nurture and train each child so that they will grow in godliness of character and action. CPCS addresses educational practices from a Christian perspective by offering its students the opportunity to understand themselves and the world around them from a Christian world view. While training children to serve the Lord, CPCS makes a strong statement for high academic and social standards of conduct. Extracurricular activities such as athletics, fine arts, robotics and other STEM opportunities provide a well-rounded program of studies. Concurrent college and high school credit are offered in many areas, providing the potential for high school students to graduate with up to 20 college credits along with their high school diploma.